The West

Trip celebrates Claremont s Kimberley links
Claremont colts players Francis Watson, left, and Matthew Palfrey are among those heading to Broome. Pic: Ben Crabtree/WA News

Claremont have flown an entire colts team to Broome to play a Kimberley representative side tomorrow in a move they hope to turn into a regular cultural experience for the WAFL club's best young footballers.

Twenty-two colts players are making the three-day trip to Claremont's regional recruiting zone to play in the KRSP Cup against Kimberley Spirit.

The select group will also drive to the remote Aboriginal community of Bidyadanga - about 190km south of Broome - for a clinic.

It will be a proud moment for draft hopeful Francis Watson, who spent seven years of his childhood in another community, Balgo Hills, 900km south-west of Darwin.

The defender, whose creativity with the ball stood out at this year's under-18 championships, will switch teams to represent the region of his birth.

Watson's AFL prospects have taken a significant leap forward since moving to the Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth last year and after successfully trialling for a colts position.

Claremont football manager Dean Horsington labelled Watson's opportunity "fantastic".

He also said the club's city-born colts players would get a shock if they didn't take the contest seriously.

"They'll be shocked with the way they do move the football and the speed the Kimberley boys can show," Horsington said.

"It's a great experience to see the challenges these young players face coming from the Kimberley and having to assimilate into Perth.

"I think it's a great eye-opener for all our city guys that are travelling to experience what it's like coming from a community."

The trip costs more than $30,000 and has been funded by sponsor Kimberley Regional Service Providers (KRSP).

The West Australian

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